The auto industry is facing a shortage of service technicians, which will only get worse in the coming years if not addressed says the National Automobile Dealers Association. U.S. tech colleges and training programs graduate ~37,000 new service technicians annually. The industry needs to replace about 76,000 technicians every year to keep pace with retirements and new jobs in the sector This results in an annual shortage of 39,000 trained technicians.
The NADA Foundation just revealed the next phase of its Workforce Initiative, which includes the launch of a new consumer, www.nadafoundation.org – to promote the value of service technician jobs and provide the first and only centralized source of all Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and industry training programs and scholarship opportunities for aspiring technicians.
One of the immediate the goals of the Workforce Initiative is to fill OEM training programs to capacity. Seats in those OEM training programs go unfilled each year even though full-time employment is essentially guaranteed upon graduation.
The NADA Foundation also announced an initial round of donations for its Workforce Initiative, including: $50,000 from the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA); $50,000 from PACCAR; and $25,000 from Porsche. NADA Foundation has donated an additional $250,000 to the effort.
“Before today, there was no coordinated, industry-wide, brand-neutral effort to increase the number of trained technicians we’re integrating into our workforce. But thanks to the NADA Foundation Workforce Initiative and the launch of nadafoundation.org, there finally is,” said 2019 NADA Chairman Charlie Gilchrist.
Until the launch of nadafoundation.org, there was nowhere for a prospective technician to find out where their closest training program was located. For example, Toyota’s T-10 website shows where the Toyota programs are, and GM’s ASEP website shows where the GM programs are. But each ignore the other.
“Our new website brings together all OEM training programs onto the same map, through data provided by our friends at Auto Service Excellence (ASE). Now anyone can now find out where the closest ASE training program is located, public or private, regardless of manufacturer,” said Gilchrist.
“The auto retail industry has a fantastic story to tell about the tremendous careers we provide,” said Welch. “We just need to get together and start telling it to the right people.”
The average dealership technician in the United States today makes $61,067 in salary, plus benefits, and has opportunities for personal growth and career advancement. Experienced technicians at franchised dealerships can make more than $100,000 annually and service managers can make more.
In addition to the website and interactive map of training and training and scholarship opportunities, the Workforce Initiative includes:
- New video stories where real technicians talk about both their work and the lifestyle provided by their career.
- An integrated digital marketing effort to increase enrollments in automotive tech training programs – especially at OEM-sponsored programs, which place thousands of students each year into dealership careers.
- A robust presence at national train-the-trainer conferences and events, to promote the benefits of technician careers with high school guidance counselors, community colleges, military separation officers at bases, and at major conferences like SEMA.
- Actionable economic research to determine how to best recruit and retain techs.
- The possible creation of a nationwide network of career fair events to bring students, career centers and dealers together for employment in their communities.